Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Signs, Signs, EVERYWHERE Signs!

So, a while back, during our town's "junk" day... you know, the day where everyone throws their junk on the curb? And then the rest of us go dumpster diving for three days looking for hidden treasure? Yes, that day. Anyhoo, I was going through my neighbor's junk heap delicately searching when I found some old fencing that had been thrown out. With Hubby's help, I turned that old fence into a series of hand-painted signs... and my love for wood signs was born!

Soon, I got my hands on some pallet wood, and poor Hubby was overwhelmed with sawing and assembling more wooden "doors" for me. I added hinges and other hardware, sanding, staining, painting and lettering these delightful little doors!

Here are the latest products of my obsession. And you can learn more about how to make your OWN sign here.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How to Paint Shabby Chic Florals on Furniture

Hello Porch Fans! Today's post is about how to paint pretty little shabby chic roses onto wood furniture. First of all: Disclaimer! I really had no idea how to do this, so I turned to my trusty how-to guide (AKA Google) and tried to find a "how-to" guide to painting shabby chic flowers on furniture. There's a lot of pretty stuff out there, but not a whole lot of "how-to's". That's when I decided to wing it myself and see what happened.

So, don't consider this a one-and-only-way kind of tutorial. It's more of a guide on how you could, maybe, sort of go about painting shabby chic florals.

Step 1: You need a shabby piece of furniture. This table started life as my computer desk. (Actually, it started as a bad Craigslist purchase that fell apart before we even got it into our van. Like, literally FELL APART in the guy's driveway. Hubby was NOT happy. But he fixed it. I love that man.) It was that golden color of wood that some people like, but personally is not my favorite. I shabbied it up with paint and sanding and love.

Step 1 1/2: So, as I dragged my furniture out onto my Porch (a process I am VERY familiar with). I looked around for floral inspiration and found it in full-bloom. Punny!

Step 2: Once your furniture is prepped, you can begin to paint your flowers. Ha ha! No, not really. Not even close.

You need to gather supplies:

  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Acrylic Paints in the colors you want
  • Jar of water
  • Paper Towel
  • Brushes (small and large)
  • Sanding Block
I also chose a pic from the Internet as a kind of basic idea of what I wanted. I'm not good on the fly. I need some kind of reference, even a basic one will do.
Step 3: You need a shape to serve as the background for your floral. I chose a circle, because it's what I had on hand, and by on hand, I mean it was a pizza pan on top of my fridge. I measured to find the center of my table, plopped my pizza pan down and traced it out.

Step 4: Next, I lightly brushed cream-colored paint in my circle and tried to fade it toward the edge to hide the pencil mark and make a kind of blurry line between the cream and the blue of the table.

After that, I penciled what I call Smilies and Frownies all around the edge of the circle. You can see them in the pic.

Step 5: I chose an earthy brown to paint over the smilies and frownies. Then I added little "leaf" shapes on the tips of my smilies and frownies. I filled in more leaves and added some curlie Qs or whatever looked right. This was a trial and error kind of process till I got the look I wanted. After I was finished with the Smiley Frownies I realized they were awfully dark, so I went over them with some watered-down cream paint, just to mute the color a little.

Step 6: This is the step where I make a big fail. I decide to try to pencil in my flowers before painting them. Not only are my freehand drawing skills spectacularly awful, but I realized after painting a few leaves that the pencil shows right through the paint. I tried to erase the pencil marks, another massive fail. They just smeared, and I scratched up my table a little. No big, I like scratched up tables, but I had to hide those pencil marks, so I painted over them with the cream paint, which brings us to...


Step 7: Painting your flowers!
So, since I had no pencil marks to guide me, I really had to wing this part. I wish I could give you a Happy Trees guide to painting roses, but I can't. I just started with dark pink blobs that were the centers of my roses. Then I added some light pink blobs as petals. I used water and cream paint to blend these until they started to look rose-ish. Again, I know that's not very helpful, but it's the best I got for ya. I did the same thing with leaves, making vague "fern" shapes, starting with the tip and zig-zagging once side of the leaf, then the other, adding a "stem" with a quick swipe of the brush down the center of each leaf. I added little curlie-Qs here, too, to fill in the blank spaces and round out the design.

Step 8: When I was done, it was kind of pretty, but obviously not pro. I remedied this by using watered-down cream paint to dull the extra-bright green and pink parts of the painting. When it was dry, I used a "dry brush" technique over it, which means I dipped a large paint brush (like for painting wall trim) in cream paint and dried it off on a paper towel. Then I lightly swept it across the painting, letting the texture of the table grab it.

 For the final touch, I went back and sanded here and there when all was dry. For my first attempt at floral painting, I don't think it's too shabby. ;)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Secretary Makeover With Damask "Tattoo"

I have been so busy.
Also lazy.
Well, lazy about posting to my blog, anyway.
But that just means I've gone into overdrive on my Porch!
Check out this cute little wood secretary makeover that I  am too tired to properly write about:

Before: this secretary had seen better days. It was pretty scratched up, and the drawers had major opening issues.
After! The secretary got a lovely paint job and a little sanding to give it a chippy look.

I painted the inside gray with a cute little damask "tattoo". :)

I printed it out in sections and lined the pieces up, then I colored on the back with willow charcoal (at Walmart, craft section). When I lined it up where I wanted it, I traced the design with a regular pencil. Okay, not just a regular one, a HARRY POTTER pencil!
The willow charcoal left a decent design behind, which I filled in with paint. Careful not to smudge it away!

I used a dry brush technique to make it look worn and faded. Just dip a paintbrush in your gray paint, wipe it on a paper towel and lightly brush over the white design.